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PRESS RELEASE – PRIVATE PRESLEY: A SALUTE TO THE KING

In Johannesburg for the first time!

9 – 25 October 2015

Travelling to Johannesburg for the first time, Sean Bovim’s Private Presley – A Salute to the King, will be staged at Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein for 14 performances only from 9 – 25 October 2015.

Bovim Ballet is thrilled to announce that, in association with the CoLab Network, they will be re-staging their fantastically popular Private Presley. This will be the third season of the show since it was created in 2013, but the first time that the public has a chance to see the show outside of Cape Town. It will commence with a 3-week season in Johannesburg during October, followed by another 3-week season in Cape Town during November.

From the same creators of the smash hit Queen at the Ballet, the high-energy production features over 30 of Elvis Presley`s original recordings including Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, Blue Suede Shoes, A Little Less Conversation, Hound Dog and many more foot-stomping, unforgettable hits. Private Presley follows the gigantic rise of one of Rock `n Roll`s greatest legends, portraying memorable and key moments from his jam-packed life.

Audiences can look forward to a kaleidoscope of timeless classics set to hip-swaying choreography that will leave you all shook up! Patrons can expect to leave the theatre with nostalgic memories and a smile on their face after having been thoroughly entertained by Bovim Ballet.

The ladies of Sean Bovim's Private Presley. Photo-Pat Bromilow-Downing
The ladies of Sean Bovim’s Private Presley. Photo-Pat Bromilow-Downing

Says Bovim, “After experiencing Johannesburg’s heartfelt and enthusiastic reaction to Queen at the Ballet which we brought up to Johannesburg last year, we are excited but also proud that we will be performing Private Presley in the very same theatre – Joburg Theatre. We thoroughly enjoyed performing on this beautiful stage with its world-class facilities and top class crew, and can’t wait to return!”

He continues As with Queen at the Ballet, those watching Private Presley can expect to be thoroughly entertained whether or not they have an interest in ballet/dance or even Elvis Presley for that matter. I firmly believe that in these difficult and challenging times that we all face, it is vital that we are able to go to the theatre for a night’s entertainment and feel rejuvenated and uplifted by the experience.”  

As with previous productions, Bovim Ballet continue their wonderful working relationships with some of South Africa’s top fashion designers. This creates a further level of excitement for the audience, who get to experience yet another layer of creativity whilst watching the show. In Private Presley, Craig Port (guest judge on ‘America’s Next Top Model’ with Tyra Banks and ‘Africa’s Next Top Model’ with Oluchi) designed the men’s costumes, and KLûK CGDT (African Fashion Designers of the year 2011 & 2012) are responsible for the ladies’ costumes. Ian West (made famous by his creations for Miss SA contestants & Miss World presenters) made the speciality costumes.

Ulrich Binedell’s intelligent and effective set design is complemented with moody lighting created by Faheem Bardien, all contributing towards a feast for the senses.

Henk Opperman (Elvis) in Sean Bovim's Private Presley. Photo by Pat Bromilow-Downing
Henk Opperman (Elvis) in Sean Bovim’s Private Presley. Photo by Pat Bromilow-Downing

The enviable cast includes some of South Africa’s most sought-after dancers. Portraying the epic role of Elvis is the super-talented Henk Opperman (Freddie Mercury in Queen at the Ballet and winner of Dans! Dans! Dans!), while the role of Priscilla is danced by the exquisite Nicola van der Merwe (SwingTime, Queen at the Ballet). Elvis’ best friend, Nick Adams, is danced by Devon Marshbank (Jim Hutton inQueen at the Ballet), while Tanya Futter (African Footprint), Simoné Botha (Miss Deaf SA 2012) and Faye Dubinski (Queen at the Ballet) respectively portray three of the most well known love interests in Elvis’s life namely Ann-Margret Olsson, Natalie Wood and Juliet Prowse.

These strong leads are further enhanced by a stellar supporting cast including Sven-Eric Müller, Michèle La Trobe, Alex Ishchenko, Buyile Narwele, Ché Milani, Tamryn van Houten, Manie Irving, Gill Upsher, JV Mattei, Kristin Wilson, Franco Lamprecht, Lwanele Masiza, Xola Willie, Rachel Abrahams, Craig Arnolds and Jenna Roll.

Tanya Futter and Sven-Eric Muller in Private Presley. Photo by Pat Bromilow-Downing
Tanya Futter and Sven-Eric Muller in Private Presley. Photo by Pat Bromilow-Downing

Bovim concludes, “Private Presley is a Rock-‘n-Roll Ballet that juggles full-speed, fun and energetic group dance numbers with intimate and heart-wrenching love duets. Not only did this era bring out the most explosive dance styles of the 20th century, but also gave us Presley’s inspirational and intuitive ballads which pull at the heart strings of all who loved the enigmatic Elvis and his pioneering music.”

Previous reviews include:

“A treat fit for a King!” Cape Times

“The show is a Hit” City Press

☆☆☆☆☆ die Burger

“Visually Striking” Cape Argus

“We did not want the show to end!” Elvis Presley Fan Club

Private Presley runs on the Mandela stage at Joburg Theatre from 9 – 25 October. Performances are Wednesdays to Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. There are fourteen shows only.

Tickets range from R150 – R350 and are exclusively available fromwww.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670.

Discounted rates for groups of ten or more are available by calling Joburg Theatre on (011) 877 6853/6815. Pensioners also qualify for a 10% discount.

Preview performances at 8pm on Friday 9 October and Saturday 10 October are available at a 2-for-1 discounted price.

Private Presley has no age restriction although no under 3’s encouraged due to patron comfort.

The show runs for 2 hours and 10 minutes including a 20 minute interval.

Twitter Information:  #PrivatePresley   /   @colabnetwork    /   @joburgtheatre

For more info, log onto www.bovimballet.com

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BBC WORLDWIDE CHANNEL LAUNCH

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When BBC invites you to the launch of 3 new channels, promising, among other things, ‘surprises’, they aren’t kidding around!

The launch of BBCBrit, BBCEarth and BBCFirst, held recently on a pink and purple hued rooftop in the trendy design district of Kramerville, was a showcase in understated British refinement. Goldilocks would have been proud – it was a case of ‘not too much, not too little … but just right!’

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Guests mingled in the ‘Earth’ room, frolicked in front of the green screen, gazed in awe at the two full-wall screens of breathtaking footage, and enjoyed the innovation of having their cocktails topped up through a tube running through a BBC Earth ice sculpture. There was very much a sense of “What happens next …?”

Awesome ice sculpture!

Awesome ice sculpture!

What happened next was that we were ushered into a room off the ‘Earth’ room, where we took our seats in anticipation of the presentation. We were certainly not disappointed!

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First up was Vice President and General Manager of BBC Worldwide Africa, Joel Churcher. Full of British charm and humour, he gave a brief overview of the new structure of the BBC Africa bouquet before introducing Kully Kaur-Bains, Head of Programming for BBC Worldwide Africa, who efficiently took us on a detailed excursion into the landscape that South African BBC viewers are about to encounter!

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BBCBrit is described as the perfect blend of the meaningful and the meaningless! And if you’re intrigued about what that means, you can watch more here (add link)  Guests were entertained by a hilarious interview with the 3 young stars of the popular BBCBrit series Youngers, Ade Oyefeso, Calvin Demba and Shavani Seth who were in SA for the channel launch. The channel debuts on 1 September.

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And then … an absolute treat! BBCEarth’s Creative Director, Neil Nightingale took to the podium and took us on the most awe-inspiring, visually spectacular adventure. From an in-depth (literally) look at sharks in their natural habitat, to the veld where 2 abandoned cheetah sisters had to learn how to hunt for themselves in order to survive, to the survival skills of prairie lizards who depend on lions for their daily diet of flies, to the polar ice caps and an extensive, up-close look into the lives and habits of polar bears. It was absolutely riveting! Trust me, BBCEarth is going to be absolutely stunning, especially in magnificent HD! The channel launches on 1 September.

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After giving us a general indication, once again complete with perfectly compiled imagery, of what we can expect from BBCFirst (soon to be the new home of classic British drama), launching on 18 October, the formalities were adjourned for the evening and we were introduced to the vocal genius of Morgan BeatBox – the only beatboxer worldwide who can produce a mind-blowing 8 – yes EIGHT – sounds at the same time!! And once the screen behind him dropped, and he beckoned us all to follow him into yet another room, we were in such awe that we could only follow!

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Here we found dessert, complete with flame-thrower, liquid nitrogen ice-cream creations a la Paul Ballen  a DJ and something which I think is called a PVAC – a Personnel Vacuum Assisted Climber – basically someone climbing a wall, aided by suction pads (quite Spiderman-like!) and a power-assisted backpack. It’s very impressive to watch (until the power trips!)

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All in all BBC really pulled out all the stops and delivered an impressive, slick event.

As a PS, I feel the need to add that I’ve been paying close attention to Social Media and I’m quite fascinated at all the public negativity surrounding the changes that BBC is implementing. I know that generally human beings tend to be creatures of habit, but the fact that those delivering most of the comments seem wholly unwilling to give these new offerings even the slightest chance is quite disheartening. I know that change can be daunting, but we’re not talking about huge shifts in the earth’s rotation here.

Come on people, just a teensy little bit of an open mind will lead you to places you never even imagined! If you’re willing to just take that first step … BBC will be there to guide you.

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